More than 300 participants from nearly all of the San Francisco Bay Area hospitals are gathering today to assess and celebrate the growing momentum to take a collaborative approach to reducing readmission. An innovative initiative called ARC (Avoid Readmissions through Collaboration) helped 27 California hospitals—most of them in the Bay Area—decrease readmission rates by 13% between 2011 and 2013, avoiding 6,471 hospitalizations and saving more than $62 million.
Nearly one in five discharged Medicare patients return to a hospital within a month, costing the government approximately $17 billion and often burdening patients, their families and caregivers. While some readmissions are necessary, many are avoidable and evidence suggests they can be prevented by improving core discharge planning, transition processes and care coordination.
Today’s “Make History: California Spring Readmission Summit”, held at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center, gives participating ARC hospitals and community partners the opportunity to review key findings from the three-year initiative. These include capturing lessons learned from unplanned readmissions, coordinating among different providers – such as physicians, home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities – reaching enough patients to lower overall readmission rates, identifying interventions that non-clinicians can successfully perform, and engaging community partners.
ARC, a project of Cynosure Health in partnership with the California Quality Collaborative and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, helps hospitals accomplish these improvements through learning sessions, webinars and an online network and data center for hospitals to share best practices and obtain presentations, tools and other resources. ARC is hosting the daylong summit, in partnership with the Health Services Advisory Group and the California Hospital Engagement Network.
“ARC has brought together a rich network of individuals dedicated to improving care transitions, which will continue into the future,” said Cynosure Health’s ARC Implementation Officer Pat Teske, RN, MHA. “This initiative has helped hospitals identify gaps in their care transition practices and supported implementation of evidence-based solutions that best fit their needs. The success we’ve seen in reducing readmissions is a critical indicator that Bay Area hospitals are improving health care outcomes for thousands of patients.”
Speakers at the summit include keynote Dennis Wagner, Co-Director of the Partnership for Patients Initiative at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Associate Director for Campaign Leadership in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center.
After successful implementation of the three-year initiative comes to a close, efforts are under way to disseminate ARC’s key findings and ensure participating hospitals can be self-sustaining in on-going readmissions reductions.
Avoid Readmissions through Collaboration (ARC) is a Cynosure Health project operated in partnership with the California Quality Collaborative and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The project engages San Francisco Bay Area and other California hospitals in an initiative to reduce 30-day and 90-day hospital readmission rates by 30%. www.avoidreadmissions.com.
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